Dharmapuri: Christmas holidays for three college students turned tragic after they drowned in the Cauvery river at Hogenakkal in Dharmapuri district. The dead body of one of the victims was fished out of the river and the search continues to trace the other two students, who went missing along with the person whose body was recovered on Friday. The victims, part of a group of eight students of a private Engineering college in their native state of Karnataka, had come down to Hogenakkal ahead of the Christmas celebrations, police said. The names of the students who met with the tragedy were given as L Santosh, 22, of Magadi road in Tavarakere, and his friends, 18-year-old R. Balaji of Kanakkapuram and 19-year-old R. Yash of Utharahalli, all from Karnataka.
The friends had reached Hogenakkal on Friday. But at around 4 pm, they, after spending some time here in the waterfalls area, went to Aalambadi, a prohibited place for picnickers to enter the Cauvery river. Santosh, allegedly, without knowing the depth of the river went into deep waters and started drowning. His teenage friends, Balaji and Yash who noticed their friend battling for life went to his rescue, but they too were drowned. Others who witnessed the tragic event called the local people to save the trio. The local coracle operators and the fishermen began the rescue operation and then Hogenakkal police joined them. The dead body of Yash was first found floating in the water surface and fished out. The status of two others is not yet known because the operation to trace the drowned victims was suspended due to darkness.